I suggest that when you travel you should always sign up for the points program for the brand regardless if you plan to use the brand again. My reasoning is simple. It doesn’t cost anything so you don’t have anything to lose.
There is one drawback with that approach. Before you know it you are a part of several airline programs, hotel programs, and car rental programs. Then comes the question, how do you keep track of everything?
I have tried several ways to organize my points programs.
- I set up a Word Document and entered the information. Two thumbs down. It took a lot of time and every time you travel you need to update it manually.
- I thought I would set up an Excel spreadsheet. This was a little better, but still I needed to update it manually. Two thumbs down.
Then I discovered a couple of options for storing, tracking, and organizing your points programs that doesn’t require any manual updating.
Here are the two options I have discovered:
1. Award Wallet
It’s simple – just sign in (FREE). Once you have your account set up you can enter the programs you participate with. Once all the information is there you can just update all account balances in one click. Award Wallet is a website that keeps and refreshes all your points programs.
- You can add information for all your family members and track everyone’s points programs.
- Award Wallet will also automatically check for your upcoming trips and will save those reservations into a part of the page called My Travel Plans. This allows you to track multiple reservations.
- You can even add your information automatically to your iGoogle homepage.
- Allows you to add travel plans and many other features that I cannot fully introduce here.
2. Mile Port.
Mile Port is similar to Award Wallet with the biggest difference being that it is downloadable. Mile Port is also free. You can add family members’ accounts. Of course, you won’t get the online connectivity like you would with Award Wallet.
If you have dial up or don’t spend much time online I would suggest Mile Port. Otherwise, Award Wallet will likely be a better choice. I have found MilePort to have some issues getting information from some of my programs. But for people (like myself) who prefer to view the information offline MilePort is the best for you.
Award Wallet would be my recommendation as the best tool for you to use to keep track of your points programs.